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JE-VAX, the only Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine licensed for use in children in the United States, is no longer available. JE-VAX is no longer being produced and all remaining doses expired in May 2011.
Other JE vaccines are manufactured and available for pediatric use in Asia but are not licensed in the United States. Despite ongoing studies, it will likely be several years before a JE vaccine is licensed in the United States for use in children.
For more information, visit the CDC website to read “Update on Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Vaccine for U.S. Children.”
Ixiaro is given only to people 17 years of age and older.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a serious infection caused by a virus. It occurs mainly in rural parts of Asia.
JE virus spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It cannot spread directly from person to person. The risk of JE is very low for most travelers, but it is higher for people living or traveling for long periods in areas where the disease is common.
Most people infected with JE virus don’t have any symptoms at all. For others, JE virus infection can cause illness ranging from fever and headache to severe encephalitis (brain infection).
Symptoms of encephalitis are fever, neck stiffness, seizures, changes in consciousness, or coma.
About one person in four with encephalitis dies. Of those who don’t die, up to half may suffer permanent brain damage. There is some evidence that an infection in a pregnant woman can harm her unborn baby.
Residents of rural areas in endemic locations, active duty military deployed to endemic areas, and visitors to these rural areas are at higher risk for Japanese Encephalitis (JE). Japanese encephalitis does not usually occur in urban areas.
Travelers to parts of Asia are at higher risk for JE, and should ask their providers about vaccination before traveling.
Learn more about the vaccine recommendations for you.